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Biography On Caspar David Friedrich

Birth Year : 1774
Death Year : 1840
Country : Germany

Casper David Friedrich, born in Greifswald, a port on the Baltic Sea, can be regarded as the foremost German Romantic painter. More than any of his contemporaries, he captured the sense of mysticism and melancholy typical of Northern Romanticism. Friedrich received his first artistic training with Johann Gottfried Quistorp in Greifswald, and then studied at the Academy of Copenhagen from 1794 to 1798. He concentrated on landscape painting, acquiring an encyclopedic knowledge of nature. In 1798 he moved to Dresden, which was by then the center of the literary Romantic movement in Germany. Friedrich met the painter Philipp Otto Runge and the poets Novalis and Ludwig Tieck. He met Goethe in 1805 when he won a prize for two drawings in a competition sponsored by the poet. Through these influences Friedrich became committed to the Romantic movement.

His first major work, "Abbey Under Oak Trees", was submitted to the Berlin Academy as his reception piece in 1810. In this and other works, Friedrich combines a realistic depiction of landscape with a Romantic vision of the beyond. It is this theme of transcendental mysticism that Friedrich pursued during the rest of his career. Many of his scenes are peopled by small, anonymous figures that stand in awed contemplation of the limitless expanse of nature. Friedrich's work was received favorably, and in 1816 he entered the Dresden Academy, and became an assistant professor there in 1824. However, as his paintings became increasingly bleak and stark, Friedrich fell from popularity. He died in Dresden. His quiet, monumental paintings remained immensely influential-capturing the here and now while alluding to the universal.
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